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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

swb Photo-realistic drawings? (331 comments)

I always wondered how something like photo-realistic drawings of pedophilia should be handled. Cartoons have an obvious lack of reality that makes it easy (or easier) to say "it's just a drawing" but what about high-quality rendered images that are almost impossible to differentiate from photographs?

Is the sole justifiable argument against pedophilia photographs that a child was sexually abused creating the photographs, or are their legitimate arguments to be made against them on grounds that sex involving children is inherently immoral?

Is there any science that demonstrates that exposure to this imagery reduces or decreases acting out on pedophilic impulses?

10 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

swb Re:Do they make high-quality LTE bridges? (99 comments)

I can't say I find a USB dongle to be really what I would call "production quality" since it uses the same low-end equipment they would sell you at the cell phone store for use with your laptop.

I was thinking more along the lines of a device either purpose-built for this with a LTE modem built-in or some kind of a WIC card like you'd use in a Cisco router. Something you might use in an ATM, security system or in a networking environment like a construction site where wired internet wasn't an option but reliability was a high priority..

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

swb Do they make high-quality LTE bridges? (99 comments)

By LTE bridge, I mean some device that can take a SIM and that has an Ethernet port for connecting your own wireless router? Something designed to be used in a "production" setting where reliability of the LAN side of connectivity needs to be high.

I've not used a MiFi(TM) or other portable hotspot, but on every iPhone with tethering I've used (up to 5S) the wireless portion of it leaves something to be desired. No wireless signal showing up without toggling tethering on/off a second time, loss of wireless with inactivity and of course the signal range leaves something to be desired due to the limited antenna of a cell phone.

And then there's the general lack of configurability relative to even the dumbest wireless router.

I figure somebody must make something like this for industrial/commercial use.

I won't comment on the inherent limits of relative to data caps, since that will get beat to death here but that's the other side of the coin.

yesterday
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Gigabit Cellular Networks Could Happen, With 24GHz Spectrum

swb Re:It's finally happening (50 comments)

Some providers used to or maybe still do make them available to people with coverage problems. I looked into them a couple of years ago with the idea that I could pick one up and use it at various client locations where i had good internet access but no cellular coverage. Information was kind of scarce, but supposedly they needed GPS signaling (to control power output/frequency based on real cell towers?) and buy-in from your cell provider to manage it. And it also isn't clear if they do or ever will make LTE versions of them.

I know there are a bunch of ways to get voice service via IP only, I know, but a $200 box that did IP and made cell phone(s) work seemed a simpler solution than buying into a VOIP service I could use on my cell phone and dealing with redirecting or porting my cell number.

What are the RF management issues with small/indoor base stations? Is it a huge problem if they proliferated (like wifi pollution)? Or is there some other network issue with the carriers' ability to accept small-scale backhaul via the public Internet? In some ways it almost seems like carriers would benefit, taking weak(er) signals and their utilization off the big towers and network.

Even better would be the carriers working with handset makers to enable internet-based VoIP so cell phones would work in wifi-only environments to eliminate the cell aspect of it. I'm kind of curious how iPads can now answer calls sent to iPhones.

yesterday
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Brain Patterns Give Clues To Why Some People Just Keep Gambling

swb Or are pathological gamblers just habituated? (57 comments)

Did they always need more gambling to achieve some baseline satisfaction or have they just gotten habituated to gambling and it merely takes more stimulus for them to achieve the same effect? Have they developed a tolerance through frequent gambling or have they always needed more gambling since they started?

I would think since lots of experiences become less appealing after a while and need to be done in more intense ways to get the same "fun" out of them that pathological gamblers may be reacting in the same way.

Yet maybe some people are ALWAYS that way, no experience is intense enough unless it's done in some extreme way -- your so-called adrenaline junkies. It's not enough to ski down a mountain, you have to heli-ski into some mountainous backcountry in Kazakhstan riding an avalanche the last half of the run. Maybe gambling just isn't enough, they have to play for big stakes on money borrowed from a loanshark or embezzled from their employer.

I kind of curious about the dislike of gambling. I have nothing against gambling morally, but I just can't do it even though some of the games like craps can be fun as games and have odds that are about as favorable as they come in most casinos. Yet I like most other adrenaline activities.

yesterday
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Tesla Teardown Reveals Driver-facing Electronics Built By iPhone 6 Suppliers

swb Re:Nothing says luxury... (155 comments)

I think this is so true, and to a large extent I think it's what helps drive the growing wealth gap.

Capitalism and technology over the last 40 years have gotten so good at delivering high quality consumer goods at low prices it has become much more difficult for the wealthy to differentiate themselves with material goods.

In order to do so, they have to pursue quantity and quality of goods at extremes beyond I think what was historically necessary. To do so requires a lot of money and I think shafting the middle class to get it both serves to finance their material gains as well as elimininate what little competition was being offered.

3 days ago
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Making Best Use of Data Center Space: Density Vs. Isolation

swb Re:Blade servers blow (56 comments)

I don't doubt there are density scenerios where they make sense, especially in some kind of purpose built farm where you can get major benefits from reduced cabling (although 10G ethernet works to the advantage of standalone servers, too).

But in so many installs I've seen there hasn't been a full-density buildout, ever. It's always piecemeal and always leads to head scratching and downtime to sort out port mapping and other issues.

I had a client with older HP blade center not getting the port mapping he wanted (10G mez cards not mapping to 10G switch modules) and his HP vendor was just like "just reset all the switches and you can probably map them anyway you want" because they didn't know, either.

I've worked for a Dell partner and we literally got lucky and found a Dell document that detailed port mapping scenerios, but it was a hard document to come by. I hate to put on my tinfoil hat, but part of me believes they want it complex so people buy a lot more switching modules than they might need and get sunk into an investment they can't get out of.

3 days ago
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Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

swb Re:Already gone (304 comments)

The point was, at the time they remodeled the kitchen they had a windfall that allowed them to pay cash for the work. The houses in our neighborhood date from the 1950s and their kitchen hadn't ever been remodeled -- newer appliances, but the cabinets dated from the 1950s. The ROI for a kitchen remodel when you sell an older house is often huge. The same floorplan in the same condition in our neighborhood went for a significant discount because the kitchen was 1950s vintage.

3 days ago
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As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

swb Data centers? (406 comments)

Since everything from office buildings to warehouses to shopping malls have been converted to data centers, why not prisons? They already offer a ton of security and the cells would be kind of perfect for those customers that buy those little fenced off spaces of multiple racks. The water lines for the sinks might be repurposable for some knd of cooling loop.

The other conversion option is a secure place for containing Ebola, or perhaps as safe havens FROM Ebola..

3 days ago
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Making Best Use of Data Center Space: Density Vs. Isolation

swb Blade servers blow (56 comments)

I'll accept the idea that somewhere somebody has so many servers and so little space that a blade center was the only way they could achieve the density they needed.

Except I've never seen it -- all the blade centers I've ever seen have been partially full and the equivilent 1U and 2U servers probably would have fit in the same or less space than the blade chasis was occupying.

And almost always there's a mongolian clusterfuck when they decide to add blades to the chasis -- which they inevitably do, because they have so much money sunk into the blades that there's no way out from under it.

The mongolian clusterfuck is the result of the byzantine cofiguration rules each vendor has for determining a blade's NIC or FC mapping with the blade center's (overpriced) internal switch bays. Half or full height? LoM or mezzanine slot? Which mez slot? Which blade slot? Oh, you want an extra NIC on that blade? Sorry, the mapping requires an additional switching module which will cost you more than any decent L3 48 port gig switch.

Whatever the savings from the blade center (and maybe in some metered situation there is power savings of couple hundred watts) is easily lost in hours of troubleshooting when trying to do something different.

Blade centers always look like some kind of pre-virtualization version of server consolidation that became obsolete once 24U of servers could easily be run on 8U or less of VM host and SAN. They would be a lot more interesting if their mapping regeimes weren't hard wired -- blade advocates give me blahblah "point of failure" about a switchable/configurable backplane.

3 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

swb Re:Cars (280 comments)

Cars are nothing more than a tool for enhancing criminal behavior.

The allow criminals a wider geographic scope over which to engage in criminal behavior. They allow them to steal more things than they can physically carry. They allow them to escape and evade capture via rapid movement over wide geographies.

Clearly, we must limit cars.

4 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

swb I think fixing inequality is hopeless (831 comments)

But not for reasons of economics, but because of social dynamics.

The rich don't care about the poor -- their superiority over the poor is obvious, axiomatic and unquestioned.

What the rich care about is their superiority over the middle class. Historically there was no middle class so this really wasn't a problem. As the middle class arose, the rich needed to use material goods as symbols of their superiority, since the traditional symbols such as education and social habits made the rich's superiority over the middle class less certain.

This worked when material goods were relatively expensive. However, material goods have become increasingly common and high quality and available at lower prices. This serves to dilute the social superiority of the rich, forcing them to seek ever more elaborate and expensive material goods to retain their social position.

This leads to the huge increases in income inequality -- you now need to amass large amounts of money in order to obtain the material goods of sufficient importance that your social superiority remains secure. Undermining the middle class via wage stagnation and unemployment is an ideal way to pay for this increased financial need. It doesn't require large amounts of growth and it serves as a double-edged sword, since an undermined middle class is less able to obtain the material goods which serve to challenge the rich's social standing and superiority.

4 days ago
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Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

swb Re:Already gone (304 comments)

I don't know how much the amounts were exactly, but kitches are extremely expensive.

And these people were notoriously cheap, so whatever could be done for less I'm real sure they did. When we did more extensive remodling my neighbor was replacing a lot of damaged wood in his deck and kept slipping his debris into our remodleling rubbish so he could avoid paying to have it disposed.

4 days ago
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Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

swb Re:Already gone (304 comments)

Yeah, they both had lawyers, and I'm sure most all of it was his ex-wife's attorney's idea. I'd guess he maybe could have tried to fight it but felt that the anomosity and weakness of chances to win would have just cost money.

His wife only worked part time at a lot of low-end administrative jobs and I'm sure she had a lot of economic security fears, and I would imagine that a good divorce attorney recognizes when a spouse is at risk economically.

4 days ago
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Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

swb Re:Already gone (304 comments)

No shit is family court weird.

My neighbor got a divorce. As divorces go, it was pretty amicable -- neither one had a substance abuse problem, was cheating, no domestic violence, etc. She became more and more religious and he grew disaffected with religion and wanted "more" out of life than her religious-centric world would allow. (This was his take, but since he was at the house a lot to fix stuff and waited on the divorce process so she could get a hip replacement, I'm inclined to believe he was honest).

Anyway, one of the biggest snafus was that she received a $50,000 inheritance when her dad about 6 years before the divorce. They spent most of the money remodeling their kitchen, within about a year of getting the money.

However, during the divorce settlement it turns out that inheritance money wasn't considered community property and he became somehow liable on coming up with a big chunk of it when they split the assets. In spite of the fact the money was inherited years before the divorce and she willingly agreed to spend it on the remodeling soon after receiving the money.

I didn't understand the finer points of this, but it sure seemed crazy that the legal system somehow treated this money as if he hadn't been spent. It's not clear to me, either, whether she got a double benefit from the increased sale price of the house or if they negotiated down her share of the house since the dollars spent on the house somehow apparently weren't hers, even though the actual dollars spent came from her inheritance. Or maybe she was able to claim some larger share of the house price by retaining some kind of non-community ownership of it since the kitchen was paid via her inheritance.

Bottom line? Don't get divorced, I guess. Or plan the financial end of it years in advance to shield yourself from it.

5 days ago
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If Your Cloud Vendor Goes Out of Business, Are You Ready?

swb Re:incremental backups (150 comments)

I can't imagine a cloud storage vendor allocating a LUN per customer. Cloud storage is likely highly abstracted in a way that makes "your" LUN not just some SAN LUN.

  Maybe in a data center where you buy storage on their SAN. Even then, they are unlikely to be interested in LUN replication to another provider even if you could find another provider running the same SAN at the same software level where it would be compatible.

5 days ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

swb If we can't rely on procedures with ONE patient.. (463 comments)

...what gives us any reason to believe that these procedures will work with more than one patient or even significantly more?

If containment requires much more stringent procedures, facilities and protection than what was used in Dallas, it somehow seems even less reassuring because the more complex the protocol the harder it is to scale.

I've never been worried about the disease so much as I have this kind mindset that seems to be promoted about how "hard" the disease is to spread "if you follow procedures". While true on paper, the reality seems to be different and I think a mindset trying to downplay risk, panic, etc has led to a dangerously lax attitude.

5 days ago
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Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

swb They just want to regain authority (404 comments)

I can't say there's much good about being a flight attendant.

It doesn't have that 1960s "Coffee, tea, or me?" glamour anymore. The airlines want to fuck them over on wages, work rules and pensions. The passengers aren't upper middle class people in suits and dresses, they're filled with slobs in flip-flops. Unless the flight goes extremely well without delays and problems, the coach section is a little like prison cell block, on the verge of riot at any moment.

Many passengers are openly spiteful of the airlines and their hidden fee pricing and boxcars-to-camp attitude towards passengers and they aren't afraid to take this out on flight attendants. With smartphones everywhere, they know they're only a few taps of a keyboard away from public humiliation via Twitter or Facebook, something the media LOVES to pile on with.

The whole constitution-free zone structure of airports doesn't help, either.

I would imagine they want these regulations restored not because their tired and half-hearted safety speech is ignored but because they want to regain leverage over passengers who are openly contemptible towards them.

about a week ago
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Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton

swb Re:I can vouch ... (79 comments)

You should tell him you need a rest.

about a week ago
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Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

swb Re:Questiona re a bit sexists (445 comments)

I would argue that larger weddings are evidence of a larger social support network of family and friends. More social support likely leads to improved psychology for both partners and perhaps better support when the marriage may encounter trying circumstances.

Cost in and of itself seems to be a function of narcissism and expectations that diverge from reality. Plus a lot of couples who spend freely on a wedding may burden themselves financially and face economic challenges early in a marriage when they may be younger and less capable of weathering them. Or it may indicate a lack of financial discipline which just repeats itself when married.

about a week ago

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